Veteran actor, Babatunde Omidina, a.k.a. Baba Suwe, has solicited for financial support to enable him seek urgent medical attention.
Baba Suwe made the plea on Monday during an interview with popular broadcaster, Kola Olotu, in Ibadan.
This is despite claims by Theater Arts and Motions Pictures Producers Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN) that the actor has been on the health bill of the association since 2017.
The comic actor, who sank into the background eight years ago, after enjoying patronage and limelight for decades, is battling diabetic complications among other ailments.
During the interview, the celebrated comedian said he still weeps over the death of lawyer and human rights activist, Bamidele Aturu, five years after he passed on.
Baba Sala noted that the lawyer’s death might be connected to the energy and passion with which he pursued his (Baba Suwe) case.
He also recalled the efforts the deceased made to seek justice when the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency arrested him for alleged drug trafficking.
Tracing the origin of his current ordeal, Baba Suwe said the crisis started in the United States of America, where he had travelled to but collapsed, even amidst cheers by fans.
“Since the time I returned to Nigeria, I have been going up and down,” he struggled to tell the radio show host amidst tears.
“They have taken me to different hospitals, yet my condition is getting worse. My situation is so bad now that I can’t walk without a walking stick.”
Baba Suwe also linked his current predicament to the ordeals the NDLEA officials subjected him to while in its custody.
According to him, the mental, psychological and medical stress he underwent, while NDLEA tried to establish that he indeed ingested cocaine, shattered him.
The comedian also lamented that is yet to receive the N25 million damages initially awarded him, a point that further made him remember his late lawyer.
He said, “The most important issue is that I need money to treat and rehabilitate myself as I have spent all I had on the health challenges.
The actor also shared his account details: First Bank, Babs Omidina Comedy, 2003537811, during the interview.
During an interview with PREMIUM TIMES in September, Baba Suwe revealed that he would release a movie, ‘Oya Gbe Ti’ detailing his 2011 encounter with NDLEA.
He was arrested at the Murtala Mohammed Airport in 2011 on the suspicion that he ingested cocaine wraps.
During the encounter, the popular comedian was detained for three weeks by the agency, but no drugs were found.
A Lagos High Court subsequently ordered NDLEA to pay the veteran actor N25 million for unlawfully detaining him and to also tender a public apology to him; a ruling the drugs agency appealed.
According to Baba Suwe, these conditions have yet to be met and his health has continued to suffer in the last seven years.
Baba Suwe is not the only Nigerian actor who has been enmeshed in a drug scandal.
On September 19, 2006, a popular Yoruba actress, Hassanat Akinwande, was arrested by NDLEA at the Murtala Airport, as she made to board a London-bound Virgin Atlantic flight from Lagos.
She was later made to excrete 92 wraps of cocaine (condom sized) at the NDLEA cell where she was detained. The scandal, however, boosted the publicity of her film, Ogun Oloro, which detailed her experience.
The following year, a Nollywood star, Uche Odoputa, was also arrested by the NDLEA for trafficking drugs and subsequently jailed for two years and three weeks.